MURFREESBORO – Five Tipton County-area baseball and softball teams competed today in the TSSAA Spring Fling State Championships, and the results were mixed.
Two teams – Covington baseball and Tipton-Rosemark softball – won, but it wasn’t easy. Three more teams – Brighton baseball, Covington softball and TRA baseball – fell and are now one loss away from heading home tomorrow.
Covington and TRA’s wins had something in common: Both teams surged to seemingly insurmountable leads that ended up being almost surmountable.
The Chargers, the defending Class AA state champs because COVID killed Spring Fling in 2020, featured just one guy who played in the 2019 state tournament. Nevertheless, they looked like they belonged, taking on Greenbrier at Blackman High School.
Thanks to strong pitching from ace Parker Davis, some miscues by Greenbrier and some small ball, Covington scored five in the third and four in the fourth for a 9-0 lead. The only thing that seemed to be in question was if Covington could score one more to end the game in five innings.
Then some stuff happened. Covington head coach Brad Warmath pulled Davis t0 save him to pitch later in the tournament and Greenbrier took advantage. After scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth they scored four in the seventh to make the deficit more surmountable at 9-6.
Senior Landon Myers, who happened to be the only Charger with state tournament experience, took over on the mound with the bases loaded and one out. He got out of the jam with no more damage and Covington moved on with a 9-6 win.
“You have to try and manipulate the pitch counts and that’s what we were trying to do,” said a clearly relieved Covington coach Brad Warmath after the game. “That’s a W. Just keep going. I don’t care what happened right there at the end. That’s a W, we’re going to tomorrow and we’re going to try and win that one.”
Covington plays Gibbs Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
TRA softball had a very interesting matchup in its first-round DII-A game vs. Silverdale. The Lady Rebels lost to Silverdale in the 2018 state title game. Revenge was on their mind and the result was good early.
Rosemark scored two in the bottom of the first and four more in the second for a 6-0 lead. Silverdale put single runs up in the fifth and sixth and two more in the seventh to pull within striking distance, but Charli Rice shut things down from there. She struck out six and worked around 10 hits to lead the Lady Rebels to a 6-4 win.
Ali Naumann drove in two runs and Ryleigh Bowers and and Myah Wright each drove in one.
The Lady Rebels play Columbia Academy Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. A win there means TRA is one win away from its third state title.
Covington softball, playing in its first state tournament since 2010, ran into a hot-hitting Forrest team, which banged out 12 hits in a 13-0 win over Covington. A Kalynn Howard single was Covington’s lone hit in the five-inning game.
The Lady Chargers face elimination Wednesday at 10 a.m. vs. Greenbrier.
Brighton baseball played its first-ever state tournament game today at Siegel High School vs. Science Hill.
Things were competitive early as Cardinal ace Logan Rushing struck out the side in the first and the game was tied 3-3 through four innings. But Science Hill scored six runs over the final three innings after Rushing was removed for pitch count reasons in a 9-3 win.
Luke Perkins hit a solo homer for Brighton and Kaleb Baskin had a pair of hits, but it was not enough.
The Cardinals will try and keep their season alive Wednesday at 10 a.m. vs. Beech.
TRA baseball fell to CAK, 5-1.
Eli Ramsey doubled for the Rebels and Zach Seward drove in the lone TRA run.
The Rebels face elimination Wednesday at 10 a.m. vs. Northpoint Christian.